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EdX announces partnership with Google

Google and edX to collaborate on an open-source learning platform and research, among other things.

The following is adapted from a press release issued today by edX.

EdX, the online-learning partnership founded by MIT and Harvard University, today announced its partnership with Google to, among other things, jointly develop the edX open-source learning platform, Open edX, expanding the platform’s selection of learning tools and worldwide availability.

As part of the collaboration with Google, edX plans to build out and operate, a new website that will help educational institutions, businesses and teachers build and host online courses for a global audience. The site — slated to go live next year — will be powered by Open edX and built on Google infrastructure.

“We envision that the site will become an ideal way to develop and refine novel online learning experiences,” says Anant Agarwal, president of edX and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. “Faculty, for example, new to online learning could get their feet wet, and learners who may not want to take a full course could also just get a taste. Moreover, we will be able to learn how to improve our platform by having more individuals build and use content.”

Google will work on the core platform development of Open edX with leading experts from many edX partner institutions, including MIT, Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Western Australia, the University of Queensland and Tsinghua University in China.

In addition to technological initiatives, edX and Google will collaborate on research into how students learn and how technology can transform learning and teaching on campus and beyond.

“We have long admired Google’s commitment to open access to information, and we believe they will be a perfect partner to work with as we shape the next generation of open education and learning,” Agarwal says. “Google shares our mission to improve learning both on campus and online. Working with Google’s world-class engineers and technology will enable us to advance online, on-campus and blended learning experiences faster and more effectively than ever before.”

EdX, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Cambridge, is a nonprofit organization comprised of 28 leading global institutions, called the xConsortium. According to EdX, its aims are to transform online and on-campus learning through novel methodologies, gamelike experiences and research, among other things.

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